Ambazonia: Degrading Treatment of Victims of War by Cameroun’s Security Forces
On 25 April 2019, UNPO Member the Ambazonia Governing Council has issued a press release in which it condemns the degrading treatment of Ambazonian civilians’ bodies by the Cameroonian security forces. As the widespread atrocities perpetrated by Cameroun’s security forces are violating several human rights treaties that Cameroun is a party to, the press release calls upon the Cameroonian government to end its violence directed against Ambazonian civilians who have fallen victim to Cameroun’s war on the region.
Below is a press release issued by UNPO Member the Ambazonia Governing Council:
In the last six months [October 2018-April 2019], the Ambazonia Governing Council has seen an increase in the degrading treatment of the bodies of victims of the war that Cameroun declared on Ambazonia in November 2017 against the Ambazonia people’s assertion of their right to self-determination under international law. The Governing Council condemns these abominable acts, calls for an end to them, and demands that Cameroun terminate the war it declared on Ambazonia and vacate the Ambazonia territory that it illegally annexed on September 30, 1961. All current war crimes and human rights violations associated with this armed conflict are predicated upon this act of annexation and war declaration by Cameroun, and their termination shall inevitably end all these atrocities.
Cameroun did not only burn down the General Hospital in Kumba; has not only burnt tens of thousands of houses in Ambazonia in over three hundred towns and villages, but has engaged in barbaric killing of Ambazonian civilians and mutilation of their bodies. In November 2018, for example, Cameroun killer 42 armless Ambazonian civilians in Bali, and then burnt their bodies in violation of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions relating to the “Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts,” which Cameroun acceded and ratified on March 16, 1984.
On February 2, 2018, Cameroun soldiers beheaded Chiabah Samuel (civilian father of 5 children) and his friends, and braked about it in a video. On April 23, 2019, the Governing Council of Ambazonia was apprised of an alleged case of the dismembering of body parts of a victim of Cameroun’s war in Ambazonia’s town of Ekona. While we continue investigations on the veracity of this act and identification of their perpetrators, we want to stress that “Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” during armed conflict amounts to a “war crime” under Art. 8(b)(xxi) of the Rome Statutes, which Cameroun signed on 17 July 1998, and is subject to prosecution by appropriate international tribunal.
Ambazonia in the fostering of human dignity, and regional and global peace and stability, shall be a country that is committed to human rights and the principles of the law of armed conflict (LoAC) as a fundamental tenet of its domestic and foreign policies.
You can download the press release by clicking here.
Photo courtesy of David Holt @Flickr